Research for L.A.P.S: Lectoraat Art in Public Space


The research I want to do for LAPS evolves around the notion of  cloud in the internet environment.

The   cloud on Internet is something everybody has heard of without knowing exactly what it is. Perhaps we are all already making use of the cloud but we are completely unable to understand what it is in simple words, let alone understand the technology behind it. Thinking of the cloud only brings one thing to the mind: more confusion.

Internet itself defies clear notions of materiality and spatialization. We know that internet is made of circulating information but we are unable to represent the physical existence of the data: hard disks? computers? cables? where in the world? It’s already vague enough like this…
But now comes the cloud and any virtuous attempt of a concrete answer vanishes in thin air!

Yet we have the feeling that some people do have control on these “phenomenons” and we tend to rely on these people. It’s discomforting to think of the cloud but it is easy to believe in a “cloudkeeper”.

My research “Cloudkeepers” explore this field of “unknowledge” in order to create a website and an information environment (in Facebook, Tweeter, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc.) that benefits of this “unknowledge” to create aura and power. Cloudkeepers know, cloudkeepers can, cloudkeepers do everything concerning cloud technology that others don’t know, can’t, and don’t do.

The purpose of this research is to create a small group of cloudkeepers, a secret society of online partners with an attitude of technology power and data control.

For a part, it is a continuation of the identity research which has always been a driving force behind my online creations (Mouchette, David Still, etc). Who are these cloudkeepers? Are they real? What do they do? Can I be one of them?

For another part it does the reverse: it presents the technology as the active and prominent element of a website (and of a data collection) instead of hiding it behind the personal and narrative elements. Here the technology itself will be the narrative and the function all in one.

I want to do this investigation within the context of LAPS from January to June 2013. Besides the intellectual investigation (which has already started) I want to do a concrete approach to make these cloudkeepers exist and run a website and circulate information.
During this time I will look for artistic/technological partners and make agreements with my “cloudkeeping” partners. I intend to find subsidies in order to run a “cloudkeeping” activity for at least a year after the presentation of the research.

I have already found a domain name and registered a website which is now “parked” for my use (the good domain names with “cloud” are all taken lately).

I have opened a wordpress blog where I note my ideas and gather some images and some research material.